I hope everyone had a nice holiday break. I took last week off to recharge (also, there were barely any new albums of note).
The downtime allowed me to get more familiar with the new Coldplay, Black Keys, etc. Though I didn’t review it here, that may be one of my favorite Coldplay records ever. It cuts deep.
Now to good stuff.
Owen Pallett – In Conflict
Rating: Worth 100 listens
Out of all the albums I’ve heard this year, this one might deserve the most in-depth pursuit of meaning. The music on In Conflict disperses into the somber air, only to reassemble in an uplifting tone. It’s a spacey record but there is something personal worth exploring.
I’m not well-versed on Owen Pallett, but I have enjoyed most of everything I’ve heard. His arrangements are wonders to behold and are unlike anyone else out there. This probably sounds like a description of a Sufjan Stevens album.
Highlights: “In Conflict,” “On A Path,” “The Riverbed.”
Crowder – Neon Steeple
Rating: This could be the future of country or the end of us all
I was fooled. The album art looks like that of an electronic DJ, not a country Christian. And I’ll be dipped, I enjoyed it.
In a sense, that isn’t exactly wrong. If I had known better, I would have realized this was the same guy from the David Crowder Band, a Christian electro-rock outfit you may or may not have heard of. I avoided them at all costs.
The album starts out as beat-driven country/folk/whatever-you-want-to-call-it with some intense EDM influences popping up (“Come Alive”). Then it gets abundantly Christian in the second half. And Emmylou Harris makes an appearance on the softest song here.
Since it did not rely heavily on EDM, this could be the future of country as we know it. If anyone can stand it. Even though there were parts I enjoyed, I have no idea who the demographic for this type of music is. It’s bizarre.
And for your random entertainment, here’s national treasure Jon Benjamin (Archer, Bob’s Burgers) replacing HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey:
Updated Best of 2014 playlist:
The pace has picked up a little the past week, though this needs to be trimmed waaay down. If you think a song on here just plain stinks, make your case and it may be gone.